Toronto’s detached real estate was notoriously scarce this time last year. Numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) show that’s not the case anymore. Detached prices slid for a 7th month in a row, as sales continued to decline, and inventory soars.
Toronto Detached Real Estate Prices Are Just 2.33% Higher Than Last Year
First, let’s look at the benchmark detached, which is the price of a typical detached home. TREB reported a benchmark price of $909,300 for detached homes, a 2.33% increase compared to the same month last year. The benchmark in the City of Toronto proper is now $1,085,100, a 1.77% increase compared to last year. For a little context, the Consumer Price Index in the City of Toronto was most recently reported at 2.2%. This means detached homes are barely above the most common measure of inflation, and below in the City of Toronto. Long-term buyers would average this out with gains they’ve made, short-term flippers are screwed.
Average Sale Price Is Still Negative, But Less Negative…
The average sale price of detached homes fell across the board. TREB reported an average sale price of $989,870 across Toronto, a 2.5% decline compared to the same month last year. Breaking that down, the City of Toronto proper had an average sale price of $1,250,235, a 2.8% decline compared to last year. In the city’s suburbs, the average sale price reached $989,870, a 2.5% decline compared to last year. The average sale price is falling slightly faster in the city, than the burbs.
That sounds negative, but the decline in average sale price is softening compared to the month before. December’s monthly decline of -2.5%, is less than November’s 5.8% decline. They’re both nothing like last December’s 23.1% increase, but they’re not all that bad.
Detached Sales Decline Over 13%
Sales of detached homes fell across Greater Toronto. TREB reported 1,938 sales, a 13.6% decline compared to last year. The City of Toronto saw 454 of those detached sales, a 13.4% decline. The Greater Toronto suburbs saw the other 1,484 sales, a 13.7% decline. So that means prices down, and sales down.
One interesting thing to note is the price distribution of these sales. They fell in almost every category, but above a million seems to be where the biggest decline was located. The only segment that saw growth, were homes in the $700,000 to $799,000 range. If that’s your price point, it’ll probably be a little more difficult to get in.
Detached Listings Increase Over 230%
Complicating the decline of sales is an increase in inventory. TREB reported 3,046 new detached listings in December, a 75% increase compared to last year. The City of Toronto did slightly better, with 670 new detached listings, a 61% increase. The substantial rise in detached listings, pushed total inventory higher.
Active listings, a.k.a. listings still available at month end, rose closer to historic levels. TREB reported 7,508 active detached listings, a 237% increase from last year. The City of Toronto had 1,467 of those detached listings, a 200% increase compared to last year. If you wanted to use Realtor terms, this would technically be a “buyers market.” Although you should exercise caution on a market when prices are falling.
Lower sales and higher inventory, sent prices lower for another month, as sellers faced increased competition. One interesting point to consider is Toronto agents claimed that a rush buy before mortgage rules changed this year, increased sales. Even with the additional pressure to close, sales were significantly lower and there was little to no pricing pressure. Now that the mortgage rules have changed, we’ll likely see even less sales pressure.
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